Whether you sell sports goods, books, clothing or irresistibly delicious treats, any business can open a pop up shop to gain traction. A pop up shop is a fantastic opportunity for businesses who are looking for a commitment-free, affordable retail solution – this is why it is great for small business owners or e-commerce businesses looking to branch out without the risk of a long term lease.

The steps to setting up a pop up shop for first-timers may feel nerve-wracking, but here at Sloane Stanley, we have established the initial process to opening up your pop up shop. To learn more about making your pop up shop a success, read our previous article here. 

Identify your end goal 

Before you begin pursuing your pop up shop plans, it is great to ensure that you have set an end goal of what you wish to achieve during the process. Are you looking to sell more products? Or is your main focus to build brand awareness and get to know your ideal consumers? The answers to these questions will determine how your pop up shop will look, how much investment is required and how you choose to market your shop overall.

Organise a clear budget

Having a budget that clearly outlines all expenses including setting up your pop up shop and actual running costs is essential. A good budget would generally include considerations such as marketing materials and transport costs. This will help you decide which location is best for your shop and discover how many leftover funds you have available to decorate. 

While the premise of a pop up shop is to shout about your business, it’s incredibly important that it is successful enough to make enough money to ensure you are not losing profit. Once you have established the costs required, it is pivotal that you work out how much you need to sell to cover those costs.

Location matters most 

As we mentioned in our previous article, the location of your pop up shop is crucial and is often the biggest cost of the whole operation. Prices will depend on the facilities, the size of the property and where the building is located. You need to put a lot of thought and effort into sourcing the perfect spot, not only does it need to be cost-effective, it needs to make perfect business sense. 

Another option is to set up your pop up shop within another retail store. There are many independent businesses out there willing to share their space if it benefits them. For example, if you are a cosmetics company, partnering up with a clothing store makes perfect sense and encourages consumers to shop at both businesses during one shopping trip. 

Do you have enough products?

The amount of stock you aim to sell in your pop up shop is a huge factor for consideration. Estimating product demand by what usually sells well is a good starting point. Checking out your location and talking to other traders beforehand will give great guidance before you curate your stock list. 

Are you looking to sell seasonal items that are more popular at certain times of the year? The weather and difference in months can have a noticeable effect on the number of customers that purchase from you or even decide to go shopping at all. As time goes on, you will soon grasp which products are best to sell and when. 

Have you registered your business?

If you are already trading, you would likely have already registered your business. If you are yet to do so, there are two main options: sole trader and limited company. Start-up businesses are often set up as private limited companies, which will need to be registered with Companies House. 

Pop up shops can be registered until a sole trader without registering with Companies House – this is considered self-employment, paying taxes via a self-assessment tax return. Deciding on a company name and supplying an address, at least one named director and details of company shares are required. This comes at a small cost and your company is registered quickly – usually within 24 hours. 

Risk assessments are essential 

Health and safety are crucial when opening a pop up shop. Creating a risk assessment is the best way to determine potential risks and how to prevent them in the future. Ensuring employees are aware of the plan will help keep your store, staff and customers in safe hands.

Product liability

Public and product liability insurance should be obtained if you wish to run a pop up shop. This type of insurance covers your business should a member of the public accidentally injure themselves in your store. You will need an insurance certificate to set up your shop. 

Keep in touch for guaranteed success

If you are an e-commerce focused business utilising a pop up shop to test the waters, you should consider a way of keeping in touch with all of the new customers you gain during the process. A great way to do this is to collect customer email addresses, which can be achieved by offering incentives such as discounts in return. 

Pop ups are not around forever, which makes them all the more of a sacred shopping experience. Collecting customer information shouldn’t be a difficult task if you make the right impression – they won’t want to miss out on the latest news once the pop up has gone.

Short term employment considerations

Running a pop up can be a busy operation, one that may require additional employees to help. Employment law is something to be considered when managing new employees, and a business that operates on a pop up basis may need to fire employees on fixed-term contracts or for part-time work only. 

Is your business searching for a pop up shop to rent in London? Chelsea’s prestigious King’s Road is the place to be for exciting brands looking to transition to bricks and mortar. Sloane Stanley’s in-house team are always available to support first-time and recurring pop up brands finding their perfect store location in London. Get in touch with us today to find out more.